According to the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease, about 6-8% children and 4% adults have food allergies. However, some studies have shown that these claimed food allergies result from self-diagnosis, over-diagnosis, and even misdiagnosis. As people respond differently towards these allergies, experts in the field across the country have previewed recently released guidelines that are meant to address the diagnosis and treatment of food allergies.
With the new guidelines in allergy diagnosis and treatment, the widespread response was to banish foods that frequently cause these reactions, particularly the peanuts. Although there was no national implementation that encourages certain foods to be made less accessible — such as peanuts that are freely handed out in bars and planes — many companies have considered taking these food allergens in consideration of those who are allergic to them.
Apparently, the consequence of these guidelines can potentially cause a widespread backlash that may include raising concerns towards foods that cause allergies. In addition to peanuts, other common food allergenics are shellfish, other nuts, and even milk. The president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, Sami Bahna, pointed out that is many establishments start to expel peanuts, other foods might as well end up with such fate.
The major concern is that there are actually people who are highly allergic to these foods. These allergies can start at the mere scent of these foods and upon contact. This explains why it is important for some people to be assured that they are in an environment in which they feel safe and, at least, allergy-free.
Although this is a great consideration for some, this brings about the issue as to how people perceive themselves as being “allergic”. In that case, it is important to find out if one is really allergic to a certain food or just intolerant. A common means to check one’s allergy is through a skin prick tests and blood tests. Altough they can help in determining a potential allergy, what these tests can merely do is indicate whether your body is developing antibodies to a particular food. This result does not necessarily mean that it is symptomatic of an allergy.
In this case, taking peanuts and other foods out of its normal circulation will not necessarily decrease allergy incidents. This is an impractical exercise as this may lead to certain members of the public to underline certain foods with a very small percentage of allergic responses. Furthermore, it is basically the consumers’ task to be responsible for what he or she eats. Regulations and other policies cannot “censor”food on the basis of possible allergies which affect only a small portion of the population. The most effective initiative is to implement effective food labeling which will help consumers to be aware whether food products contain a certain percentage of food allergens.